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School board lists preferences for job
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The Newton County School Board is one step closer to its search for a superintendent after the board unanimously approved a list of qualifications and preferences it wants in its next top official.

Current Superintendent Gary Mathews announced late last year his plan to retire June 30, at the end of the school system's fiscal year.

The required qualifications for the position are: holds or is eligible for a Georgia Leadership Certificate at the L-6 or higher level; experience as a principal and as a classroom teacher; good moral character having not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude; and a candidate that has no immediate family serving on the board of education or as an administrator in the school district after July 1, 2009, as required by Georgia law.

The preferred qualifications are: hold a terminal degree (Ph.D or Ed.D); a record of successful experience in one or more of the following areas: superintendent, central office administrator, or other executive level position in education or executive level management experience in the private sector; outstanding leadership skills in education administration, curriculum, instruction and personnel management; a strong instructional leader, utilizes a team-building approach to educational leadership and is committed to maintaining open communication and fostering cooperative relations among the school district, the board of education and community leaders and organizations; a proven record of sound fiscal management, including budgeting and educational finance; maintains high expectations of personnel in the areas of leadership, professional conduct and support of the school system; holds high expectations of students in the areas of academics, discipline and extracurricular involvement; an effective public speaker with demonstrated oral and written communication skills; involved in school and community activities; involved in professional organizations; holds high standards of ethical and moral conduct; and is a role model.

These requirements and preferences will be passed on to the Georgia School Boards Association so that they may move forward with advertising the position. According to the timeline given to the board by the GSBA in December, the brochure will take two weeks to print, followed by between six and eight weeks for mailing of the brochure accepting applications and two to three weeks for a review of applications and reference checks. GSBA will then meet with the board to provide them with the association's top picks. The board will then schedule interviews with the hope that a new superintendent can be chosen by mid-April.